Tourism is a top concern in Drumheller, but also in Dinosaur Provincial Park northeast of Brooks, and there is a concerted effort to bring the two together as parts of a single attraction.

Representatives of Canadian Badlands tourism attended Monday's Drumheller Town Council meeting to talk about their plan to sign the route between the Dinosaur Provincial bonebeds and the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

"This is just another project to give people a reason to come to the Canadian Badlands instead of somewhere such as the Rockies," argued Trisha Sewell, Economic Development Officer for Cactus Corridor Economic Development Corporation, which is assisting with the planning. "We're trying to show them there's all different product in this region for them to enjoy."

The proposed Dinosaur Trail would run north of the park on Highway 876, through Steveville, Wardlow, Cessford and Pollockville, before heading west on Highway 570 through Dorothy and the other Drumheller Valley communities, winding up at the Tyrrell.

"We're going to have to contact Google Maps and see what we can do about the GPS because there's different routes to go to the different attractions," noted Sewell. "The more and more we can get it designated as its own scenic route that people can actually put into their GPS and follow, that's definitely the first step."

"That is the biggest concern we have from visitors; they do not realize the distance between Dinosaur Provincial Park and the Royal Tyrrell Museum," she elaborated. "This will at least let them understand the distances and then, if they choose to take the journey, they don't have to worry that they're lost along the route."

The group asked the town to set up signs directing visitors either to the Tyrrell, or to Dinosaur Provincial Park, alongside the highway inside of the town limits. The estimated cost is a few thousand dollars. Participants already include the City of Brooks, County of Newell and the Special Areas.

Councillors agreed to discuss it when they look at the town's budget for 2019. It's hoped the signs will be installed in time for the next tourist season in May or June.

Badlands signA proposed sign.

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